Lately I’ve been considering the impact of technology. Since the industrial revolution, there have always been two constants: science will evolve, and people will fear its evolution. It’s a fascinating dichotomy…just another reflection of man’s tendency to fear the unknown. It is true that science is power; one could even argue that is the new rubric by which “survival of the fittest” is measured. But surely this power is benevolent. It is simply a reflection on the hand that holds it, not an intrinsic property. To one man, the atom bomb was a fearsome weapon, no another it was a breakthrough in understanding the properties of matter and energy. We split the atom because it made us wiser, no because it could be used to eradicate thousands.
Is the same true of this new technology? This machine that can span dimensions, can move us instantly through space, time, and reality…is there a benevolent use to such immense and unpredictable power? I’m shaken to my core. I may tell myself that it is the variability of such a machine that troubles me, but there is more the equation. What do these other realities mean? Is our Earth “real” or is it just one of an infinite number of possibilities? How will we ever know when we’ve truly returned when the difference between our worlds could be as subtle as freckle where there was not one before?
And what of science and the laws of physics? Will we find a world so different that even time doesn’t exist? Where gravity moves away from the center of the Earth instead of toward? It is conceivable that we might jump to a reality where Earth has no atmosphere and suffocate instantly. The variables are overwhelming! For the first time as a man of science, I am truly afraid.
Would that we had the time for proper study, but alas we have yet to find a moment to catch our breaths. Violence surrounds us constantly. Gone are the demons and magic which have no place in a rational world. Now we find ourselves in an equally bleak situation: a version of Earth overrun with plague and disease. Bodies liter the streets, military patrols comb the city at all hours, and CDC agents cleanse the streets with chemical cleansers and fire.
Although none of us have shown symptoms, we have no defense against this disease. Our own immune systems won’t contain antibodies against a disease born of another world. What’s worse, patient zero appears to be Collin’s father. How can this be possible? What possible connection could he have to this plague?